Why Maya Marches

 

 

Thirteen year old Maya shared this letter with us about her experiences of discrimination at school and how she “lucked out in the Mom department.”

PHOTO:Carmen Jost

Why Schools for Children Marches

There is no better way to ‘walk the talk’ of equity, tolerance, mutual respect and human dignity than by asking our staff to join the Women’s March. It is far too easy to offer platitudes about our children being our future than it is to stand up for the type of world we want them to inherit.Our schools and programs remain committed to supporting students with diverse learning styles and varied family backgrounds and configurations.

We march to affirm their dignity and value in our local and global communities.Our teachers and counselors educate children about the harmful effects of  the ‘isms: racism, sexism, classism and all the ways they divide us. We walk in support of the values we hold dear  at Schools for Children. We walk out of concern over the shrill voices and destructive behaviors that threaten to diminish us as individuals and to divide us as a people.We walk to take a stand against bullies.

Whether on school playgrounds or in positions of leadership, there is no place for threatening language, demeaning comments or intimidation of those who may be weaker or less privileged. We march because there must be room in our society for each of us to play meaningful roles in crafting a future of peace, hope and mutual support. We walk to stand up for our children and their futures.

 

Theodore H. Wilson III, Ph.D. is President, Schools for Children, Inc., a Massachusetts nonprofit organization creating and managing great schools and educational services, including  early childhood and elementary schools, afterschool programs, and special education schools and services to help keep students from falling through the cracks in our educational system. Schools for Children also develops new education services and innovations, and consults with other schools, districts and human service providers to enhance the quality and performance of their services.

Why Charu Marches

The day after the election, I sobbed and dabbed my eyes and kept a lump in my throat inside during my candidate’s concession speech in front of a lot of people at work. Three days later, away from everyone, in the shower, I cried so hard and so loud with so many tears that it felt like someone I loved had died, taking all hope for a certain future me with them. In that moment, I felt a slipping, a losing of grip, like everything was gone, and that nothing could be trusted anymore or taken at face value.

Did that old white man driving past yell at me and give me the finger in an ordinary act of road rage or because he suddenly noticed the color of skin? In the many days since the election, I have felt utter helplessness and powerlessness as I hear more of what the President-elect has to say, and what some of his appointees believe in. I have found myself shaking my head, thinking, “There’s nothing I can do about this.”

So I march to find a community early in this new administration that can help me find a voice, and I march to overcome the inertia that comes from watching people with great, unreachable amounts of power say things that scare me. I march now because I am afraid that otherwise I will default to a private and ineffective cry and into a state of paralysis in the face of the next four years.

Charu helps organize the South Asian Coalition for the Boston Women’s March. She is a former journalist and advocate and now is a content strategy and marketing director at InCrowd, Inc., a healthcare IT startup.

PHOTO: lpotatol
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